Triple Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet is recovering well after having heart surgery. The 61-year-old had a stent implanted in an artery to improve blood flow and is currently recovering in Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital.
The surgery took place on Tuesday and a spokesperson for the hospital has confirmed that while Piquet is making good progress, he is expected to remain in intensive care for at least one more day.
The procedure is a standard one and is not open heart surgery, meaning Piquet is expected to make a full recovery and is set to go home by the end of the week at the latest. It is understood to be related to a heart anomaly that was detected several years ago, which he has regular check-ups to monitor.
Piquet retired from F1 at the end of 1991, having won 23 grands prix and the 1981, 1983 and 1987 titles during his 14 seasons at that level. He subsequently suffered serious leg injuries in practice for the 1992 Indianapolis 500, making a remarkable comeback to start the race a year later.
His racing outings have only been very occasional since then, although he did win the Mil Milhas sports car race at Interlagos as recently as 2006, sharing an Aston Martin DBR9 with son Nelson Piquet Jr., Christophe Bouchut and Helio Castroneves.